Gone Fishing: Loss Of Ocean Predators Has Impact On Climate Change Strategies

2015-09-29T18:20:40+00:00 September 30, 2015|
White sharks are considered vulnerable worldwide. Since individuals are slow growing and mature late, white shark populations could be even more sensitive to fishing, environmental and other pressures. (Credit: Greg Skomal, MA Marine Fisheries)

(Click to enlarge) White sharks are considered vulnerable worldwide. Since individuals are slow growing and mature late, white shark populations could be even more sensitive to fishing, environmental and other pressures. (Credit: Greg Skomal, MA Marine Fisheries)

Continued unsustainable harvesting of large predatory fish, including the culling of sharks, can have far-reaching consequences for the way we tackle climate change.

(From Science Daily) — Professor Rod Connolly, a marine scientist from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute, is the co-author of new research that says keeping populations of larger fish intact is critical to carbon accumulation and long-term storage in vegetated coastal habitats such as saltmarsh, mangroves and seagrass.

A paper, “Predators help protect carbon stocks in blue carbon ecosystems”, is published in the journal Nature Climate Change and identifies the urgent need for further research on the influence of predators on carbon cycling, and improved policy and management with regard to blue carbon reserves.

The research comes as Australia in particular, in response to a recent spate of shark attacks — some fatal — engages in fierce public debate over shark culling.

Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150928123318.htm